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Okla. bill limits youth access to e-cigarettes

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Updated: 3/06/2013 10:34 pm Published: 3/06/2013 12:36 pm

Right now, Oklahoma kids can get their hands on nicotine. However, one lawmaker wants to change that.
He wants to put an age limit on electronic cigarettes.

Senator Rob Johnson of Yukon is authoring Senate Bill 802 aimed at keeping these devices out of children's hands.

The bill has been approved in the Senate.

The Senate voted 26-15 on Wednesday for the bill that also limits the taxes that can be levied on the so-called "e-cigarettes."

The alternative to cigarettes, "e-cigarettes" are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution that produces a vapor for people to inhale.

"I love them,” said one user, who asked not be identified. “I haven't had a cigarette in three weeks."

Most people make the switch when they're looking to kick the habit.

The problem is, teens are picking it up.

Under current law, there is no age restriction on the purchase of these products. The bill would prohibit anyone under 18 from purchasing any vapor or tobacco-derived products.

"My concern is young people thinking it's a cool thing to do," said Laurie, she didn’t want to use her full name.

But she told FOX23 she's seen a 15-year-old with the device.
"To me that would lead to maybe actually smoking cigarettes later," Laurie said.

FOX23’s DontayeCarter spoke with “e-cigarette” vendors to see what they had to say about the bill.

"I think it's a good idea because these do have the nicotine in it," said Tanya Gaynor, one of the owners of Monster Vapors in Claremore.

They have some liquid products without nicotine and some with as much as 24 milliliters of it.

"We've had kids come in here and we said sorry we can't sell to you, you're not 18," said Gaynor.

The store has signs posted saying they won’t serve to anyone under 18. Gaynor says they I.D. everyone but says the biggest problem they've noticed is people over 18 buying the devices for friends under the age.

"That's like someone who goes into a liquor store whose 21 can go in there and by liquor and they turn around and meet up with friends and give it to kids under 18," Gaynor told FOX23.

Laurie believes it's because of how the product is marketed to make it look cool.

"Nicotine is nicotine," she said.

The measure also imposes a .05-cent tax on such products and limits the maximum tax to 10 percent of that imposed on a pack of cigarettes.


Senate Bill 802:

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

markj01 - 7/24/2013 5:21 PM
0 Votes
Well, I thought that it was agreed upon that electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are classified as a nicotine replacement therapy product too? (>_<)... And besides, it's irrelevant to implement the same taxes as e-cigarettes are not as harmful as the real thing - and should we remind them the reason for high taxes for tobacco cigar..? Kind, Mark of

findingallison - 3/7/2013 3:18 PM
0 Votes
This article conveniently left out the tax that would be levied against vapor products similar to the tax on tobacco. Most vapor shops already voluntarily prohibit sale to minors and would welcome legislation that enforces their position. The idea that the state would use a prohibitive tax to discourage use of these products while supplying free nicotine replacement therapies with comprable amounts of nicotine is ridiculous. The reality is these products help many, many people quit smoking and are hundreds of times healthier. Check out these articles if you are not convinced:

Shawn T - 3/7/2013 3:15 AM
0 Votes
This is one of the most irresponsible reports I've ever heard. Is someone PAYING this guy to write these reports? So the store doesn't sell to those under 18, they have signs everywhere that say they don't sell to those under 18. The fear is that 18 year old kids will buy for those under 18. SO WHAT WILL THE LAW FIX? Making it a law that you have to be 18 to buy doesn't stop the 18 y/o from buying for his young friend-OR does it make the store self-regulate more.(they ALREADY don't sell to under 18, why the law?) IT ALLOWS NEW TAXES on the small business owner PERIOD. The gov is sticking it to the people, and this report is trying to help DISGUISE it for them. WHAT TOTAL JUNK REPORTING!!
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